Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  August 10, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EDT

1:00 am
>> rose: welcome to our program. to want we begin a series of conversations over the next two weeks about president obama and his stewardship as president. we begin tonight looking at foreign policy with richard armitage, a former deputy secretary of state talking about obama and the world. >> i think what we need to do is decide what sort of afghanistan we will accept. if you ask this citizen, i would scene contained afghanistan which the would have many, many, many fewer u.s. troops, a lot of use of technology to defend surging gripes where i could find them. >> rose: but... >> you asked me what i'd do so i told you what i'd. do i would have a contained afghanistan. it wouldn't be a nation building. >> rose: do you think we're engaged in nation building? >> i think there's some confusion about it. >> rose: really? i mean it sounds like you think the policy over there is rather confused. they defined the goals. >> i think the president has not
1:01 am
seriously defined the goals. what sort of afghanistan will he accept? that's number one. i think there is a policy for the first time after eight and a half years of applying military force, development assistance and political pressure but as i indicated earlier, it may be too little, too late. my own view of our president is that he's a wonderful family man he's got a lot of emotion and a lot of love for his family. i don't think that extends to his business relationships. i'm not saying he has to be in love with his colleagues but i think he has to be interested in them as people. >> rose: yes. >> if only because it's in our self-interest to try to draw them out a little bit. so if i had a criticism of our president, it would be i wish he'd be a little more open in relationships than i've seen from the outside. >> rose: also this evening lynnist it zach perlman on his own career as a performer, a teacher and a conductor and the question is how do you spot musical talent? >> i think to the kids i said if
1:02 am
it helps you imagine there's this phrase represents a character in a play and what is the character like? is this character debonair? is this character shy? introvertd? extrovertd? and the minute you think about, that all of a sudden everything about the music changes. the notice 6-notes take away the notes. they are vehicles to express something. >> rose: armitage and perlman next.
1:03 am
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: richard armitage is with not guilty washington. he was deputy secretary of state in the first term of the bush administration. he left office in early 2005, as did his close friend and
1:04 am
confidante, secretary of state colin powell. he's a founding partner of a consulting firm called armitage international. he's also chairman of the american turkish council group that supports ties between the united states and turkey. his unvarnished views on u.s. foreign policy and diplomacy are widely sought out around the world. i am pleased to have him with me here with this conversation about how he sees the world two years after this administration came to power. welcome. >> good evening. thank you. >> rose: tell me how you see the way the world is shaping up? what does that mean? >> i think in the first instance it means the relative decline of the united states, although we're still the... and will remain the strongest power economically, militarily, etc., for well over 20 years into the future. there's been a relatively klein. second of all, there's been a relative rise in china which has brought forth a real competition in asia for influence, for economic growth.
1:05 am
and finally in the other part of the globe we've had a real change in russian relationships recently where they're actually out courting old enemies such as the turks. so i think you're seeing a fundamental reordering. i don't like the term "new world order," either, but fundamental reordering of the traditional relationships. europe means a little less than it did in the past, south asia is a little bit more given the rise of india and the difficulties of pakistan. so they're in a great state of flux. >> rose: what does the united states do? how does it put together an effective foreign policy for the future? >> my own view is that we have to fundamentally go back to our principles and the values that we hold. these generally held in high regard throughout the world and when we're consistent with our values, i think that we are the-- to use a hackneyed phrase-- the shining city on the hill. it's when we disregard those values, when we put forth an angry, snarling face like we did after 9/11 when we export fear
1:06 am
and anger than we have great difficulty getting people to march to the same objectives with us. >> rose: but has the president been successful in doing that? he certainly sounded that tone from the beginning. >> well i think certainly it's a more benign face to the world and i think having the first african american president says a lot about our country, a lot of positive. in some areas, the president's done masterfully. for instance the sanctions on iraq. he's gotten, i think four successive sanctions and he's gotten pretty good international buy-ins, which eluded george bush to some extent. but beyond that i think this is very much a work there progress. >> rose: he hasn't gotten sdmin. >> i think's a little schizophrenia in the administration on china. i think started trying to coddle favor with china, not moving our sales to taiwan, not seeing the dalai lama and things of that nature. these were terrible mistakes because our chinese friends
1:07 am
don't do gratitude. >> rose: (laughs) what do they do? >> they do cold calculations of what they view as national security and we should as well. >> rose: staying with the iran question, will sanctions work? >> well, i think the fact that the president the other day reiterated his call for dialogue with iran is indicative of the fact that the administration believes sanctions are biting, sanctions are starting to take major effect in iran. i think the jury is still out myself. i think the iranians have had plenty of time to work around the sanctions so it's a work in progress. you mentioned the speeches the president gave. he gave one in cairo, you're quite right. it was well received. he gave a wonderful speech in turkey calling for a model partnership but there's been no follow-up to either speech. and there's a vacuum and some dissatisfaction may eventually grow. >> rose: okay. tell me how you assess overall the obama foreign policy. >> i gave it very high marks generally in asia. i think they've gotten the north
1:08 am
korean policy correct, i think both the secretary of state and the secretary of defense have spent a lot of quality time in asia trying to prove that we are going to be part of the asian century. i think, however, in the main, that this is a sort of kinder gentler george w. bush policy that we're seeing without major departures from the administration. >> rose: in asia? >> generally across the board. >> rose: it's a kinder gentler george w. bush foreign policy? >> well, it's a kinder gentler george w. bush foreign policy without trade policy which actually puts us in a whole. there aren't major deviations from where mr. bush was going. the bush surge in iraq i think led us to a position where the president would announce last week in atlanta that we're going to end our combat mission. i think mr. bush was active in pakistan and pakistan. so in the main you see a continuation of george bush's policies. >> you said to me in a previous
1:09 am
conversation the thing you hear-- this was after you were out of power-- people would talk about america's competency. >> well, i think i told you about the story about in the wake of the middle east during cat "there was real questions about america's competency. and in the wake of the deep disaster, all of our citizens, ourselves, were talking about whether we were competent, whether government should accomplish these lofty and weighty issues. so i think there is a real question of competency in the minds of our own citizens regarding u.s. government. >> rose: so b.p. added the same idea that katrina added for the bush administration? >> i would say so. >> rose: how about the middle east? >> middle east no one's made much progress in a lot of years. kept the violence down somewhat. mr. obama is alternating pressure on mr. netanyahu and pressure on mr. abbas trying to get them to face-to-face talks. i think it's a work in progress,
1:10 am
we'll have to see. >> rose: should we have a plan on the table for the israelis and the palestinianss? >> this has always been a criticism of people saying you've got to have a plan. burr when we've had the plan, neither of the two parties to the dispute have fully signed up. it's much better to let them work it out in my view. so i am confident that in the... in the direction that the obama foreign policy is going. i'm not confident of the outcome but they've got the right direction. >> rose: should they be talking to hamas? >> probably. >> rose: notwithstanding israeli objects? >> i understand israel's objections. i also understand that much to the surprise of the bush 2 administration, hamas was elected. i myself always believe you should talk to your enemies if only as an intelligence gathering mechanism. >> rose: everything's on the table with respect to iran? >> i think iran knows very well they have to make it crystal clear that they're not into the
1:11 am
weapons procurement program. >> rose: and if they don't accept it, our options are? >> well, one, we have the option of accepting it. >> rose: right. >> we have always military options. and we have further sanctions and things of that nature. you know, it seems to me that iran often says that she's a country surrounded by six nuclear powers: china, india, russia, u.s., israel and who else, i forget? pakistan. >> rose: pakistan, a big one. >> a big one. six nuclear powers. and i fail to see how iran's security is going to be guaranteed by bringing about two more nuclear powers, saudi arabia and turkey, if iran actually procures a nuclear weapon. >> rose: have we lacked the ability to convince them of that point? >> well, clearly if they continue to try to have a program, we have failed in convincing them. >> rose: you think there's aningment that would be made that can convince them >> the argument i just put forward to you is the only arguement where i even got a flutter of the eyelids from iranians that oh, wow, maybe
1:12 am
there's something there. but beyond a flutter of the eyelids, not much. >> rose: all right. when you were deputy secretary of state there was the famous notion that after 2003 there was an initiative by iran. for history's sake, would you please straighten that out for me? >> yes. we received what was allegedly a missive from iran pushed through swiss ambassador. >> rose: right. >> our history with iran and with the swiss ambassador who was our protective power had been that the ambassador was a little bit too positive of things, with putting his own spin on some of these missives and the paper we got from the iranians was so out of context and out of sync with all the discussions we had with the iranians up to that point that we didn't buy it as genuine. >> rose: do you think they appreciate the possibility of a military action or have they simply operated on the basis that it will not happen? >> no, i think they do feel certain a certain amount of
1:13 am
threat and this is one of the reasons they spent enormous amounts of time getting hezbollah well equipped in lebanon so we have an option there against israel. it's why hezbollah is so active in south america and other places so they can hit interests if they are hit militarily. >> rose: should we sit down with them one to one and have a conversation at the highest... not at the presidential level but at the highest level within the state department? >> i would argue yes that we should. >> rose: and everything is on the table? >> no, no, no, everything's not on the table. >> rose: you can talk about it, though. >> you can talk about everything. but the nuclear program has to come off the table. >> rose: and it's a precondition of any agreement? we can agree on everything but if we don't agree on nuclear... >> we're not agreeing. >> rose: and you think we could get if we... >> i know we won't get there if we don't try. >> rose: what about those people who say containment will work? >> rose: they may be right. but containment historically
1:14 am
hasn't worked. north korea was contained, they developed a nuclear weapon. pakistan's contained, they developed a nuclear weapon. so i think that if you're talking about stopping a nuclear program, containment won't work. >> rose: where do you think we are with pakistan today and what do we accept in the light of all these new documents about where the i sigh is and what is their intent and how do we get at this question of their fear of india? i.s.i.. >> well, that's several different questions, let me parse them. first, it's quite clear that under democratically elected government or under martial law government the people of pakistan have not gotten the governance they deserve. that's one thing. second, the question of i.s.i.'s involvement, i know when i was deputy secretary i looked almost everyday from the time we invaded afghanistan until i left in february of 2005 for evidence of any assistance from i.s.i.. we didn't see it. we saw some liaison, but not
1:15 am
equipment or weapons and things of that nature. i believe at that time, first of all, we had disperse it had taliban to a very high degree and i.s.i. were thinking that the coalition was going to prevail. well, that muddled down from from 2005 to 2008 or so. i think pakistan and the i.s.i. changed their mind and they wanted to have a vote at the pashtun table in afghanistan and they started... >> rose: so therefore they had to have a relationship with the taliban. >> that's right. >> rose: and it is true the haqqani family... >> well, haqqani is one of the leading mujahadeen... what used to be formerly mujahadeen commanders, now taliban leading. >> rose: he was a big one. >> he was, all of these characters were together. a couple of months ago i had the opportunity to go to afghanistan and pakistan and i actually met general big, a former i.s.i. director and he's written... a former counterpart of mine 20 years ago, he's written terrible things about the united states.
1:16 am
he had with him a fellow by the name of colonel' man, the father of the taliban. and colonel imam proceeded to give me an hour-long treatise on why the united states would fail in afghanistan and the relationship with pakistan and afghanistan. >> rose: so what did he say in >> basically these are graduates of the university of the chrish that kov, they're fighting for their country, you're not. kalashnikov. >> rose: do you believe him? >> i don't believe him necessarily. but we've given karl ikeen beret terrible low hand. the president hasn't defined what he wants. he says we want to eliminate the ability of al qaeda to work in afghanistan. we're pretty much there. >> rose: but he also says he wants to make sure that the taliban don't control all of afghanistan. >> so what does that mean? they control a third of it? a fifth of it?
1:17 am
is that acceptable to him? what i'm saying is general petraeus and ambassador eikenberry have been given a very difficult task. i accept the fact that now we're on the right track. but term words from mark twain who said "even though you're on the right track, you can get run over if you're not going fast enough." >> rose: (laughs) >> now he's speaking about railroads and not insurgencies but it's true. >> rose: tell me what the president needs to do and what does general petraeus need to do and is petraeus... will his policy be any different from from mcchrystals's? >> i think it already is. he's loosened up the coalition forces to support the troops of the field. >> rose: rules of engagement type thing? >> yes, to make it more able to support our troops in the field. he's really put a huge effort-- which general mcchrystal had as well-- into the training of the afghan forces. he's trying to bring the development into being so it's visible to the people of afghanistan. but the long... there are two
1:18 am
long poles in the tent. the first long pole is human capital. how do you develop sufficient human capital to be able to lead that country when you've got such a low literacy rate and such a tribal makeup. and number two, the question of president sar cy and his willingness to be a good partner with us. about two weeks ago at a hearing on capitol hill, u.s. officials were touting the fact that we have anti-corruption units that are being supported by the government of afghanistan and isn't this a great thing? now we're seeing president karzai is criticizing those anti-corruption units and wanting to bring them under his control. so it raises real questions. >> rose: as to whether he's prepared to go the distance in terms of anti-corruption. >> precisely. >> rose: and how much influence do we have over him other than simply saying "we're out of here"? >> i think actually that's a pretty big stick. if you remember the picture of former president najibullah hanging from a lamp post after the russians left, that can be a pretty strong reminder that we
1:19 am
do have some influence. >> rose: or you say i remember that image and therefore i'm going to make sure i have that a pretty good relationship with the taliban. >> well, he was the taliban at one time. >> rose: and they all come from this pashtun... >> pashtun, right. >> rose: so why should bein afghanistan today? >> well, i think the fact that president karzai raised this question with the anti-corruption units makes he wonder if we ought to have young men and women dying there. >> rose: okay, but say more about "it makes me wonder." i mean, do you think we need to have an agonizing reappraisal under the circumstances that have evolved as to whether we should have young men... >> i think what we need do is decide what sort of afghanistan we will accept. if you ask this citizen, i would accept a contained afghanistan which would have many, many, many fewer u.s. troops, a lot of use of technology to take out insurgent groups where i could find them. >> rose: but... >> you asked me what i'd do.
1:20 am
so i told you what i'd do. i would have a contained afghanistan. it wouldn't be a nation built. >> rose: do you think we're engaged in nation building? >> i think there's some confusion about it. >> rose: really. i mean it sounds like you think the policy over there is rather confused. >> i... >> rose: haven't they defined the goals? >> i think the president has not sufficiently defined the goal. what sort of afghanistan will he accept? that's number one. i think there is a policy for the first time after eight years eight and a half years of applying military force, development assistance and political pressure but it may be too little, too late. >> rose: you just said al qaeda's pretty much been taken out of afghanistan. >> i saw a c.i.a. director say there's only 100 of them. >> rose: but joe biden, the vice president, said later "our goal there is to eliminate al qaeda from afghanistan." >> well it sounds like we're close to fit there's only a hundred or so. i noticed the u.s. state
1:21 am
department report on terrorism says the home of al qaeda and the core of al qaeda is in pakistan. >> rose: sure. and as long as they're in pakistan they can be in afghanistan. >> they can indeed. >> rose: why can't we get to the north waziristan to go there. >> well, he's got six division of troops there. he's lost 2,500 to,000 soldiers. it's not as if they've just been sitting on the bus the whole time. >> rose: they've gotten better? >> apparently they've gotten better. the problem in waziristan as i understand it, it's very similar to the problem in afghanistan. it's the lack of human capital to fill in behind. that is you can clear insurgents out, you can do all these other things but if you can't govern effectively... >> rose: they'll come back in. >> they'll come back in. and right now these terrible floods that pakistan is suffering, we noticed it's the islamic charities providing goods and services, not the government of pakistan. >> rose: how about the government of the united states? wasn't that a perfect
1:22 am
opportunity for us to pour in there? >> my understanding is we sent hilo after hilo of assistance but the weather got bad again and we can't get in. >> rose: so the idea was not... >> we were delivering assistance. >> rose: trying throb with a visible presence, we know there's flooding here and we're here rather than islamic charities getting the publicity among the people. >> rose: but i say the weather came in and we were unable to fly, as i understand it. >> rose: back to the israeli issue one more time. we threatened to withdraw aid as jim baker once suggested to prime minister? >> i don't think so. i think that when mr. netanyahu and mr. obama were having sort of a... >> rose: right. >> i thought they were very unevenly matched. the reason is our president was going to no matter what happened wake up the next morning and still be president for three years more. bibinetanyahu could be out tomorrow given the fragility of
1:23 am
their political system. so i thought it was a little unfair the way we were treating bibi at the time. because he's got to balance his own body politic. i think at the end of the day a u.s. president in order to have influence in israel has to be popular to a certain extent in israel. has to have a popularity so you matter and it matters if you have a good relationship. >> rose: but you become popular, as george w. bush did, by essentially giving the israelis most of what they want. >> well, i think he was unwilling to use his popularity. and once you have that popularity you have to be able to use it. but it's starting as a low base and mr. obama was for a long time very unpopular in israel. the prime minister doesn't have to worry about the u.s. president as much. the body politic in washington is going to support israel. >> rose: how important is it to our national security interests that we somehow find some way to make and to advance the idea of the peace process between the israelis and the palestinians in
1:24 am
terms of our national security? >> well, i think general petraeus answered that before he took his... >> rose: well, i was trying to get you to confirm general petraeus. >> i am going to where he said this was key to our own national security and that we couldn't-- i'm paraphrasing now, we couldn't get a handle on islamic extremism without bringing a betterment to the situation of the occupied territories. >> rose: i want to talk about russia. have they restet relationship? is it better today than it was at the end of the bush 43 eight years? >> i heard a great story the other day, by the way, from russia. who said there were two factions in russia. there's a putin faction and a medvedev faction and mr. medvedev couldn't figure out which faction to belong to. >> rose: (laughs) >> yes, it's better now. >> rose: it is better now. >> and there are a lot of reasons. the united states visibly tried to make it better and i think the fact that the russian have been more sympathetic on the question of sanctions is
1:25 am
evidence. the situation with georgia, we're not so totally enamored of georgia. we acknowledge russia's got interest. >> rose: and that's wise. >> i think it's very wise. >> rose: what should we do so the russians don't feel like we're threatening them in terms of things like nato expansion and that we respect them and that we want to be partners with them and that they can help us in iran and we'd like to help them. >> it's a matter of transparency which i think administration has done, the obama administration. the list of missile defense, we've been very open with them on these matters. the question of nato expansion has dampened a little bit, not so much enthusiasm for the expansion of nato now as there was. without a cold war, nato is casting around trying to figure out what their reason debt a is. >> rose: every time i talk to somebody in the middle east, i would say to them how would you convince israelis that they were
1:26 am
secure? that their security was okay? and president abbas said to me "i would have nato troupes in there between the two countries." now israel would never accept that, i assume. but the question is still there. how do you convince... what can be done and said that is not being done and said by the united states? by palestinians? by arab countries? by iran? by turkey? >> in my view we need to work very hard on such relationships with syria, israel and lebanon/israel. because the problem with confidence of their security in israel is the fact that they sere close to their enemies. it's not a matter of strategic warning time for them. >> rose: it's seconds. >> literally seconds. that's why ill argue that those relationships should be worked on simultaneously and heavily
1:27 am
alongside the peace process. >> rose: turkey. what do you think of the president and where do you think his intentions are? and how have they changed? >> i like prime ministerer wan first of all. i think he is a populist and erdogan and what we're seeing is an acknowledgment that in the country side turkey has changed. it's much more conservative now than it was first of all. second that they have an interest now in what they never did before and this's the question of the palestinians. third, you've got a young population, a large population that has come through the economic doldrums quite well without devastation to their banking system and they're finding themselves more or less kind of in the top of the heap looking at the top of europe saying "we look pretty good." >> rose: and saying we could play a big role. >> simultaneously history does matter, they are a big nation and a populous nation.
1:28 am
they sit right on the cross roads between asia and europe. they traditionally look southeast. the cold war is over. the southern flank of nato is not as important as it used to be. there are a lot of things going on at the same time and another thing going on is their 360-degree policy, no trouble, no problems with neighbors. all of these things happened at once. >> rose: should we look on that as an opportunity or concern? >> first of all, i think it is an opportunity. why does prime minister erdogan, why do his colleagues want to have this relationship with snern i believe it is because they feel somewhere in their hearts that maybe the west won't be successful. and if iran is going to be a nuclear power-- which i hope will not be the case-- they want to have some influence there. second, i think it's clear, as secretary gates has said, that europe has rebuffed constant u.s. and turkey attempts to get in the e.u. and all of that turkey holds is a long-term goal a stogs the e.u., that it still
1:29 am
looks west. it also wants to go back to some historical views that they used to have in the south and east. >> rose: and what's wrong with that? >> nothing's wrong with it! >> rose: so we should encourage them and say... >> look, we're trying to better our relationship with syria so we should begrudge turkey? >> rose: (laughs) exactly. >> is it unknown that we can have good cop/bad cop in iran? there's nothing wrong with good cop/bad cop as long as we understand the message the other is giving. >> rose: should this president be doing more in the arena of relationships? >> i don't think we'll ever again see a master like bill clinton was at establishing relationships. >> rose: what was it he had? >> when he talked to you, i think, you had the feeling that he was only interested in you at that moment. he was very interested in your views and you held his attention fully. so i don't think anyone will ever raise that standard again. but i think mr. obama... i would personally wish he'd have more buy-in with some of the
1:30 am
relationships around the world, as i've today you in the past. it sometimes matters. >> rose: you famously said to me in a conversation that what what you learned most about being deputy secretary of state from your previous exmerns at the pentagon and elsewhere was that relationships matter. getting along with someone, being able to have them listen to you and exchange in a die dialogue matters and he's not doing enough of that? >> i don't think so. i don't think so. my own view of our president is the that he's a wonderful family man, he's got a lot of emotion and a lot of love for his family. i don't think that extends to his business relationships. i'm not saying he has to be in love with his colleagues but i think he has to be interested in them as people. >> rose: (laughs) yes. >> if only because it's in our self-interest to draw them out a little bit. so if i had a criticism of the president it would be i wish he'd be a little more nope relationships than i've seen from the outside. >> rose: do we have a system that because of the heavy power of congress on american foreign
1:31 am
policy that we are at a huge disadvantage? >> i have always they would view that the founding fathers are quite brilliant. we joke about having 535 secretary of states in the u.s. congress. >> rose: yes, we do. >> but the fact of the matter is the executive branch has the whip hand if we put a point on our arrow. i had this demonstrated to me in the most clear way during operation earnest will which was the end of the '80s in the persian gulf where president reagan was at the nader of his political existence following iran-contra revelations. we were hit with mine it is first time we sailed up the persian gulf. all kinds of terrible things happened and yet we prevailed. no one in the u.s. congress was with us at the time but since there are 535 of them, it's hard to get the congress moving in the same direction at the same time. so the whip hand is with the executive branch if the
1:32 am
executive branch will understand that. >> rose: are we exercising our economic power and our trade power as much as we should? >> the short answer is no. we have three existing free trade agreements left over from the bush administration with korea at a time when korea needs the support. the president has indicated he will push for this but it doesn't seem that we do have a trade policy. it's not clear congress will go along with it. and so in asia, at least, where trade is the name of the game to some extent then we're playing with one hand tied behind our back. >> rose: and the chinese are going all over africa and latin america making deals, making deals, making deals. >> but south asia, afghanistan, bangladesh, they're the everywhere making deals. >> rose: and that puts us at a future disadvantage? >> well, i think so. it eliminates us from markets, it makes it harder for us to penetrate markets.
1:33 am
so i think the chinese have very mercantilist in their approach. and they buy their way in. i tell you they've been quite effective. >> rose: back to turkey for a second. you don't worry about the future of secularism in turkey? >> there seems almost to be two turkeys, there's istanbul, very western, very modern, and then the countryside where things are much more conservative, as i indicated. i don't think we're going to see our backs turned on ataturk's vision of secularism. >> rose: and erdogan is committed to that idea? >> as far as i know he's committed. i think he's much more traditional muslim as opposed to smoking, alcohol, things of that nature. has some questions about the equality of women in society. however he's put in some amazing reforms pro-women. it's a mixed picture but i've
1:34 am
got faith in prime minister erdogan. >> we ought to be enhancing that relationship because the role it can play with syria and snern. >> well... >> rose: and israel. >> indeed. indeed. we take no solace that turkey and israel have having such terrible difficulty right now. no one should. >> rose: can't we play a mediating role in is this that? >> much to president obama's credit, he has played a mediating role. when turkey after citizens were killed... eight turkish citizens and one american were killed in that israeli raid on the flotilla, it was president obama to whom mr. erdogan terned to get the turkish citizens released and they were released within 24 hours. so i think mr. obama should get credit there. many of our turkish friends complain about the u.s. role and supporting israel and i remind them that it was president obama who talked to the prime minister of israel to get the people out
1:35 am
within 24 hours. >> rose: tom friedman had a column on sunday about a film that had been made. he makes this point and some people feel this way, that there's an international campaign to delegitimize israel. >> it's not organized but there's a lot of criticism, some old, some new from beyond the middle east and more traditional enemies of israel. >> rose: is it getting traction, do you think? >> i don't think it will in the long run but in the short run it does. when you have things in which you can hang a hat, such as a botched raid on the flow till low it gives people a peg to those who might be anti-israeli. and for the short term they're able to rabble rouse around it. but i don't think in the long run it's going to win. >> rose: how would you guaranty israel's security? >> you know, i'm not sure. i think i would have to make sure, as i've said before, that power fosters the nation. there's one that israel no doubt
1:36 am
has to know at the end of if day we'll be there for them. this is not news to our arab friends they all understand this. no one should be afraid of saying that publicly. at the end of the day, the one democracy in the middle east, the thriving, practicing, democracy is going to get full support. >> rose: so at the end of the day we say we here that for israel. >> that's right. >> rose: and we would defend them. >> now, they would say they don't want us to defend them, they want to defend themselves. >> rose: but at the end of the day we're there for them is what we say. for all the reasons you just said. that's american policy. so what do we say to israel about our interests in the middle east? and how clear do we make that? and are they listening? >> it depends on who the "they" is. i don't want to be bill clinton here. >> rose: (laughs) whatever "is" is. (laughs) >> they listen and they understand that we have interests beyond just israel. we have interests in keeping... and we feel that israel shares
1:37 am
it. anti-nuclear. that it's much better to have moderate societies, et cetera. and there's some real traction, i think, even to include with israel. so this is an evolving, changing... >> rose: but qatar has a good relationship with hamas, too. >> and a good relationship with iran, too. and the united states. >> rose: and turkey. >> so qatar has cleverly covered all her bets. >> rose: and they own al jazeera so... >> i watch al jazeera everyday. russian t.v., bbc and al jazeera. because it's news. i'm not interested in what lindsay lohan is doing. i'm not interested in mel's tapes. i'm interested in news and those three organizations give you news. >> rose: and do you think what you're getting from al jazeera is... >> well, they're still reporting news. do they have a slant, sglae i
1:38 am
think i'm smart enough to realize what the slant is. but i'm not interested in the rehabilitation of lindsay lohan. >> rose: so you think our society has gone off with it celebrity worship? >> i can't help but to think that if you turn on your news any night, b.p. will lead and then you're going get one of these celebrity stories and it makes me crazy. >> rose: do you think you'll ever go back to government? >> i don't know, it kind of depends on who ever's president. who would have me, for heaven's sakes. >> rose: there is this also. what are the biggest challenges to america today? >> the first and biggest challenge is to regain our confidence as a nation. our confidence... >> rose: in ourselves? >> yeah. i'm tired of running around being scared of my shadow, having time spent talking abo 14th amendments by pandering politicians who on the one hand say they want to be strict constructionists of the constitution and on the other hand want to throw out amendments which have been pored
1:39 am
over by the courts and i think validated over the years. so i think getting our confidence back as a nation. i might say this also extends to the controversy over the mosque in the 9/11 site. >> rose: we should put it there and be confident about it? >> my own view is don't let the terrorists win. when we change our own ideals and our own principles, they're winning, we're not. so that's the most difficult. the second most difficult thing, i think, is to get right our relationship with china. the reason i they is there's a competition in asia and the competition right beneath the surface is as follows: is their economic model or ours a better model for future development? and is their political model and authoritarian model better than our democratic mod sdmel that's the competition. we've got to, i think, come out right on this. >> rose: we have to convince the world that our model is politically and economically... >> and economically the dominant one.
1:40 am
the one we most want to aspire to. i think beyond that we've got to come to grips with our own... the situation that exists in the world. if you look around our newspapers this morning, floods in china, terrible floods in pakistan, thousand-year record heat in russia, floods in the midwest. we've got to come to grips with this climate. we've got to. now, i can't... i'm not smart enough to tell you what's changing, but something's changing. you don't have 70 inches of snow in washington, record heat this summer and also the wettest july in history phenomenon a space of six months. >> rose: so you're saying we need do this. it's imperative to do it not only doe midwestically in the united states but as part of an international... which we failed to do in chroep? >> that's right. chrop. >> rose: rich armitage, former deputy secretary of state, a man who's had a number of year years of it was so his country. back in a moment.
1:41 am
stay with us. >> rose: itzhak perlman is here. he is a world famous violinist and a conductor. he made his american debut in the ed sullivan show in 1959 when he was only 13 years old. he has since become one of classical music's stars. in addition to performing and conducting around the world, he also teaches at the perlman music program on long island. the program was founded by his wife tobe fwhi 1993. i am pleased to have yitzhak perlman back at this table. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: what's been going on in your life? >> well... >> rose: teaching and music. >> well, my life has really changed. it's still in music, which is wonderful. i think the last time i saw you maybe i did mostly performing. now i do performance, conducting and, of course, teaching and not only my teaching at the perlman music program but also teaching a at the juilliard school. so i'm really...
1:42 am
>> rose: teaching violin or something else? >> violin. one on one, teaching violin, yes. >> rose: oh, one on one. >> yes. master classes i do very, very infrequently. i basically... when i teach at juilliard or the perlman music program, everybody sees me one on one. >> rose: and what are you looking for? >> (laughs) well, you look for... you look for the spark. you look for the passion. how do you define talent? it's a combination. there's... and it's very, very interesting because toby and i... my wife toby and i listen to d.v.d.s because we have people who want to come to the perlman music program. so we get sometimes more than 100 d.v.d.s in. and it's interesting, you look at people playing and you have to figure out what is it that they have to offer? and what is the spark? and you cannot only see it right
1:43 am
away by the way they sound but also on the look in their eyes. how do they respond to a harmonic little nuance? >> rose: it resonates in their eyes? >> oh, yes. and when it does that, you know what they're feeling. you just can tell. it's like, you know, i would say to them, you know, if you're not responding to this harmonic nuance, it's like walking in a museum and looking at the nice painting and then seeing the mona lisa and just going by instead of just saying hmm, that's a wonderful... and that's the way you should do it about harmony. you listen to a harmonic chord and it causes you to... for me sometimes it causes me goose bumps to listen to something like that. and the minute... and i sty the kids if you really, really realize what you're hering, the minute you feel it, i will hear in the your playing. you don't even have to do that much but i will hear in the your
1:44 am
playing because i know that you are aware that there is something there that's happening. >> rose: the truly gifted have what? >> well, they have a particular instinct and an ear. they respond a certain way. obviously we're talking about technique. that also comes. but the gift is how you respond the music. for me. i mean, as i'm getting older i think that that's the most important thing. >> rose: you've seen greatness how often? >> there's always potential for greatness but what happens is potential does not always go the whole way. >> rose: what happens? >> so many things can happen. parents. >> rose: parents get the way? >> record companies. managers. is. >> rose: but that has nothing do
1:45 am
with playing, parents, record companies. >> everything has to do with playing because what happens is when you are in a certain atmosphere you can work, you can be... you can get inspired, you can get involved. but if you think too much of other stuff if you think you've got to practice all the time so you can become, "successful" it's not always the right try go. >> rose: you practice because something in you demands to be good. >> yes. and also the practicing is another interesting thing because practicing by itself just to put in the hours is not enough. >> rose: yeah, but i don't think that people... this is really a question rather than a statement. people have greatness in them, practice has never been something that they did not like because they were come peopled to add to natural talent, experience, teaching, growth,
1:46 am
>> well, i'm not sure that you are often compelled to practice. i think you're compelled to make music. >> rose: okay but... >> i was not compelled to practice, i hated it. >> rose: did you really. you hated the act of getting better? but doesn't it make you get better? >> as a young kid you don't think about that. you think about i'm practicing, putting in hours and hours of working, it's drudgery. a lot of the kids that i see believe more practicing is better. >> rose:'s not necessarily true? >> no that's not necessarily true. for example, if you're really talented, my rule is more than five hours a day is not necessary. practicing is the act of repetition. so now if you repeat something and you do it wrong, then you've practiced wrong. so you have to be very careful how you practice. >> rose: that's why we have teachers. >> exactly. but when you're not with your teacher, then what do you do? if you're alone and ten years
1:47 am
old or 11 years old, it's a challenge. >> rose: speaking of you, here is you playing live from from lincoln center. this was january 5, my birthday. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> rose: talk to me act conducting and what that means to you. >> well, first of all it's a lot
1:48 am
of fun for me right now because what it means first of all is to be exposed to a different kind of music. you know, as a string player you play certain things and sometime there is's a lot of repetition. so when it comes to conducting i get a chance to be introduced to repertoire that i love and that i haven't had a chance to really be involved in. so the conducting is a lot of fun and i like that conduct the meat and potatoes of the repertoire, braupls and tchaikovsky and beethoven and mozart and haydn. it's great stuff. a few things about conducting that i think maybe people think that conducting is all about power and i would like to hereby say that it's not true. it's not about power. i think the orchestra has the power, not the conductor. if the orchestra does not respect what the conductor does and what the conductor has to say, they will not give out.
1:49 am
>> rose: then what is it about? >> conducting? conducting is about the i always find there's a real mystery in conducting. i keep repeating this but i think it bears repeating. you can put three or four different people to give a down beat to an ooshg stra and they'll give different sounds. it has to come between a current between the conductor and orchestra. body movement,ing? the face. and the players, you know, they really, really know. they know when they see how they're affected and whoops is for me as an instrumentalist it's a challenge to make the orchestra sound like i want to hear. because everybody knows... people talk about sound and they say what makes every individual have a particular sound? and a lot of it has to do with what kind of hearing you have. what do you want to hear when
1:50 am
you shea from obviously there is a technical component to it. but in the long run it's what you... how do you hear a violin sound in how do i hear a violin section or cello section or a wind section, what do i want to hear in my said? and, of course, the great conductor would just go like that and get that sound and sometimes just say a couple of words. so for me that's a great challenge to have the orchestra sound like i want to sound. >> rose: people who write about you have described your performance as intuitive and emotional. it has that element of personality. >> well, i... >> rose: i don't mean the way you perform, i mean the way you do the music. >> well, i like to talk to music. >> rose: really. >> i like to talk to music and that's the way i teach. i say after a while when you know how to play the instrument you should forget playing the
1:51 am
instrument. its's now time to talk to music, talk talk to phrases. sometimes i tell my student to read a paragraph. and in the paragraph therefore certain things that... sometimes it's one paragraph where they have the word extraordinary. so i'm going say to them are you going to read extraordinary? are you going to say extra ordinary? because extra ordinary is an extraordinary word. so you're not just going say extra ordinary, you're going to have an inflection. same thing, when you hear a phrase that you feel is meaningful, any god, you can't just play it, you have to speak it, you have to talk it. >> rose: do you get as much out of teaching as you get out of playing? >> oh, yes. >> rose: do you really. >> absolutely. just to see how kids develop is amazing. to have that breakthrough. sometimes you teach for a year or two and suddenly one lesson
1:52 am
comes and that's it and it sometimes brings tears to your eyes. >> so you'll take a kid who has been struggling or coming along and the next day all of a sudden they show up one and something has happened. >> rose: it's not a question of struggling. but sometimes... >> rose: i don't mean struggling but they... >> to maybe express... >> how long does this snake a year, two years? six months? >> i don't know. >> rose: that's the great of what the whole teaching... everybody has a different schedule. you can have somebody at 12 or 13 or extremely talented and then it's almost even more difficult to keep that talent going at the certain pace and make it progress. and sometimes you have a kid who sounds very good but age plays age appropriately. that means that when they 1350er you close your eyes, you hear and you say "well, this is a 13-year-old kid playing."
1:53 am
which means it comes with all the 13-year-old characteristics. and then they develop in a sense it's kind of maybe easier because when things are age appropriate it's more natural. but when somebody is so incredibly gifted at ar a very young age it's more of a challenge. >> rose: you once said "you have to have something to say in order to play great music. i say to the kids if it helps you imagine this phrase represents a character in a play. and what is the character like? is this character deb snare is this character sni is this character introverted, extraverted? and the minute you think about that, all of a sudden everything about the music changes. the moats take away the personality of the notes. they're no longer notes, they're vehicles to express something. >> rose: i once asked beverly sills were there moments in which she exceeded her own
1:54 am
expectations and she said yes, a couple. but she wasn't sure why it just came together. >> well and it was more beautiful, more powerful, more... >> it's when everything falls into place. >> rose: like a perfect storm. >> yes. so it's a question of a sfiz cal sensation and then as something about the creative process that just say i think i'm going to go to the left, i'm going make a slight right turn, go straight and... but you see, of course nibble music as in everything else there is an element of contagiousness or if you want to... it's contagious. when something goes right it's contagious. if one phrase goes right, it's almost positive that the next one will be also right snuchlt you get on a roll. >> and the other way around. if one phrase is not right, it's difficult to get out of it. so it's absolutely incredible. and i find it when i play and when i teach.
1:55 am
i find it when i conduct. >> rose: when are you next performing? >> i'm performing with the philharmonic at the end of september. that's my next performance. >> rose: thank you. >> thanks. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
1:56 am
1:57 am
1:58 am
1:59 am

61 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on